A tall barbarian woman, in red armor, sat near the soul-binder in the city of New Tanaan one day. She called for folk to gather and hear a tale. This is the tale she told.
Gara Tidyng says “After Veeshan brought life to Norrath, she settled into the Plane of Sky and drew a veil across the chasm separating the dragon plane from us. Then she fell into a long and peaceful slumber. So too, did the dragons still left on Norrath, as their strength was derived from the Plane, and the Veil kept them from exercising their magical powers.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Ya see, lads, the Ring of Scale dinna take kindly to mortals meddling in their affairs, and the Veil did well to prevent that. Aye, but the dragons slept, and the Veil fell into neglect, until mortals began to find cracks and once more make inroads into the Plane of Sky.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘On Norrath, the dragon Zavo`Zatanov and her accomplices were determined to remove the Veil and restore the power of the Ring of Scale. Not your normal group of travelers were these. Though they called themselves brother and sister, they were clearly not so: Zavo, a High Elven woman of exquisite beauty; Rals`Zezonis, strongly human; Sarethsin`Kaz, a typically snobbish Erudite; and rounding out this already peculiar group, a troll named Soreg`Sslisn.’
Clerigo says, ‘How do you know this Noble Gara?’
Xzibitt says, ‘Was Zavo an Enchanter?’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Great reward and dangerous adventure they promised, fortune and glory to all who could hear, and not an ear in the land missed their call.’ Gara Tidyng ponders whether some enchantment might have lain behind the irresistible call to arms.’
You agree with Gara Tidyng.
Gara Tidyng says, ‘all good questions, listen and you shall hear… And what could possibly be the goal of such a motley group, forcing them to enlist the aid of total strangers?’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Like a knife, the next two words sliced through the cold night air, silencing all within hearing.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Lady Vox.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Lady Vox holds that which we seek.’
Kaltea says, ‘Woohoo’
Gara Tidyng draws a quick breath as if she herself had been present. Then she says, ‘Through Blackburrow did they venture, the gnolls rejoicing that they did not stay their journey. Thence through Everfrost, which some say melted a little under the presence of such a horde. On to Permafrost, the lair of the Lady Vox.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘They paused, casters with their noses buried deep within their books, murmuring arcane phrases, warriors unsheathing their blades, donning helms, while some of the smaller folk faded in and out of view.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘That’s when they first heard: Vile children of Scale, your efforts are wasted this day! You were fools to think that you could stand against the fury of Mistmoore!’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘The sound echoed off the canyon walls. Out of the shadows sprung the horror, three Tier`Dal soldiers, agents of the dreaded Vampire Lord. Lord Galendor, nightmare of Castle Mistmoore and chief enforcer of Mayong Mistmoore himself, led the charge, leveling a furious attack at the High Elven woman, Zavo, before any had time to react. Khasra Vei`Ras was not far behind, and a Tier`Dal priestess lent support from the shadows . . . D`shar was her name.’
Gara Tidyng slows, seeming to drift away to another time and place as she speaks. She continues her tale, saying, ‘Now, fighting a Tier`Dal agent of the Vampire Lord might not seem to be such a difficult task, until you turn to your comrade and see her very life draining away, dripping down her tunic and staining the ground.’
Beruthielle shudders, knowing how dangerous Tier`Dal priestesses can be.
Gara Tidyng says, ‘This unholy union of rage and wit, chaos and order . . . it sticks with you.’ She seems to be speaking as someone with more than a passing acquaintance with the issue.
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Zavo and her companions defended themselves well, but they never could have lasted on their own. Luckily, they had prepared themselves, enlisting the aid of some of the greatest that Norrath offered. Even so, the battle was bloody. Before they even had time to organize themselves into some semblance of order, forty had become twenty.’
Xzibitt mourns for the loss of Zavo.
Gara Tidyng says, ‘The tide finally began to turn for the heroes when one of the young half-elf warriors discovered the Tier`dal cleric D`shar hiding in a corner and quickly dispatched her. Without a healing force, the Tier`dal had no hope for victory.’
You nod at Gara Tidyng.
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Galendor fell almost immediately, and Khasra, badly wounded, stumbled backwards and uttered a few cryptic words. What followed sent a chill through the bones of all who were there to witness, and these were battle-hardened veterans of the worst that Norrath had to offer.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Ya see, the shadows crept out from the very stones beneath her feet, reaching up from the ground to envelop the Tier`dal woman, swallowing her into darkness.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Little did they know that while this was taking place, a dwarf rogue by the name of Kivgor Illbria had snuck into Vox`s lair and had purloined the Shard. Loud and foul were the cries of anguish rumbling through the bowels of Permafrost when Vox discovered the Shard missing.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Just as loud were the cries of glee from Kivgor, taunting Vox for letting down her guard.’
Clerigo says, ‘Uh oh!’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘His luck failed him, though. As he was about to make good his escape through the gates of the cavern, Kivgor ran headlong into Zavo`s group.’
Clerigo gasps at Gara Tidyng in astonishment.
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Proud of his accomplishment, Kivgor waved the Shard before them, but his pride quickly turned to anguish when he discovered that this was the very Shard that they were hunting. He attempted to flee, but they caught him and challenged him for rightful ownership of the Shard.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Badly outnumbered, Kivgor stood nay chance at all, but he still fought for the Shard. His dying words echoed through the chamber Fie on you, accursed Mistmoore! I fall in your favor, but now you be without your precious trinket!’
Gara Tidyng looks puzzled, and then says, ‘Mistmoore, mentioned twice now? What role could Mistmoore play in this drama?’
You ponder the matters at hand.
Gara Tidyng knows that the party was soon to discover the answer to that question. She says, ‘Ya see, Mayong Mistmoore was the bitter enemy of the Ring of Scale, and he wanted nothing more than to possess the Shard and thereby control access to the Plane of Sky.’
You say, ‘Ohhhh … ‘
Gara Tidyng says, ‘With all due haste, Zavo`s group journeyed to the Rathe Mountains, where the final partitioning of the Veil was to take place. Surrounded by their mortal supporters, Zavo and her friends shed their illusions and stepped forward to reveal their true dragon nature.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘However, before Zavo could reveal herself, the sky was suddenly filled wi` shadows, while faint laughter swirled through the rising wind. A harsh voice, filled wi` hatred and disgust, echoed through the mountainsides, `Children of Scale! You shall not succeed this night, I shall make sure of it. For centuries, you have evaded me. Now this shall end. Everything you possess . . . is but a waste.’
You say, ‘who was that?’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘`Twas the very voice of Mayong Mistmoore, challenging them for possession of the Shard.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Quickly the mortals sprang to the defense of the Scale, but it was too late for the doomed party. One by one, Mistmoore’s cold touch enveloped them in misty vapor, draining their life and strengthening his.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Fighting valiantly, the humans appeared to be on the verge of sure victory, when suddenly Mayong faded from view, eluding their attacks. The shadows quickly retreated back to the corners and stones from which they had issued, their tendrils rising in the air and the sound of a thousand shrieks echoing across the Mountains of Rathe.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘As the shadows slithered from view, a voice was heard, faintly hissing these words of defeat, `You have won this day, Children of Scale, but it shall not be the last battle that you will face. Rend your veil and harness your power, it shall do nothing for you, as in the end, you all shall perish, dragon and mortal alike, your corpses shall rot at my feet. For this I can assure you. Until that night comes, I bid thee a good morrow, and sleep well.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘The voice trailed off into sadistic laughter that hung within the air for what seemed like an eternity before fading into the wind.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Alas, Zavo mourned the loss of her beloved companions, cursing the name of Mistmoore.’ Gara Tidyng lowers her head to conceal the tears in her eyes.
You comfort Gara Tidyng.
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Determined to complete the quest which she had started, she called for the human who had most distinguished himself in the battle to step forward. She asked him if he was ready for the final task, to die by the Shard, spilling his blood on the earth of Norrath so that the Veil would be sundered forever.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘He paused not a moment before nodding in agreement.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘After performing the sacrifice and resurrecting the hero, Zavo presented him wi` the Shard, which became known thereafter as the Crystalline Claw of Veeshan, a mighty and powerful weapon. Forevermore in the realms of the Scale was his act of bravery sung.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Thus did the Veil of Veeshan become torn, and the realms of mortals and Scale did mingle. The dragons of Norrath were once more restored in power and glory, a fitting position for the Ring of Scale.’
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Of the outcome of the battle between Mistmoore and the Ring of Scale, we can only guess, for I am certain that the final pages of that Act have not yet been written.’
Gara Tidyng bows before her audience. Gara Tidyng says, ‘Thank you all for listening to my tale. Long is my journey that lies ahead, and soon I must take my leave, but first I ask that you partake of my humble refreshments.’
Gara Tidyng passes out goodies from her backpack. She says, ‘I will hail you and then pass out goodies, I have some for all who want them.’
Xzibitt says, ‘How will the final Pages get written of this long tale’
Gara Tidyng beams a smile at Xzibitt.
Gara Tidyng says, ‘Safe travels to ye, friends. I must be away to tell my tale again.’ Gara Tidyng turns from her audience and goes on her way.